Tomorrow is my first day back to work in a very long time -- about a year and a half to be exact. Since then I have spent my days as a stay at home mama for my two boys. I am excited to get back into my professional life. I have been looking forward to this for a long time, but just now that I have put the kids to bed tonight and my mind is beginning to slow down from the day, I feel the butterflies in my stomach descending. And I feel the melancholy moving in--just like I felt when I first went back to work after Liam was born.
The butterflies are understandable. We're all a little anxious before the first day of school, or the first day of work, right? I wonder if I still remember how to give a thorough physical assessment or how to document my medical notes properly, or if I'll get to work on time. I'll be rusty at first, but it will all come back.
The sadness is harder to define and resolve. I am nothing but grateful to have this job. But making this decision to return to work is a sign of me releasing my two ducklings into the world. For this past year and a half I have kept them within arms-reach. I won't lie, there were many days that I dreamt for a return of balance and sanity in my life, but I do love being a mother, and I am grateful that I have spent the time at home with them. Now that I have decided to flee the nest for 3 days each week, it's just a little hard to let go. It's recognition that they are getting older, more independent, and less in need of me.
But we'll all be fine in about a week or so. Actually, the boys are already fine. They've adjusted well to daycare and preschool, so it's just me who's going to need a little coddling.
Now that Liam is a pre-schooler and Luke is becoming less and less of a baby, I am finally starting to understand all of those people who've warned me about the speed at which our children grow up. It does go by quickly, and I want to make sure I'm savoring all of of it as best I can -- each belly laugh from Luke, each snuggle-duggle, each time Liam says "follow me to sleep mama" at bedtime, each busted lip (which happened this evening while Liam was showing off for one of his babysitters).
It will feel good to turn off my mom-brain tomorrow morning, listen to NPR in the car without distractions, concentrate on "me" for a little while, and embrace this new job. But I suppose I'm allowed to feel a little nostalgic. And with this break from motherhood three times a week, I know I will covet my time with the boys even more.